Online Encyclopedia

MINSTER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 556 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MINSTER, two towns of Kent, England. I. MINSTER-IN-THANET, in the Isle of Thanet parliamentary division, lies on the southern slope of the isle, above the Minster marshes, in the low, flat valley of the river Stour, 4 M. west of Ramsgate, on the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (r9o1), 2338. Its church, dedicated to St Mary, is cruciform, with a, western tower, the nave a fine example of Norman work, the transepts and chancel a beautiful Early English addition. The carved choir-stalls are a notable feature. The church belonged to a nunnery, founded at the close of the 7th century. The abbey, a residence close to the church, incorporates portions of the ancient buildings. Fruit-growing is largely carried on in the neighbourhood. 2. MINSTER-IN-SHEPPEY, in the north-eastern, parliamentary division, lies in the Isle of Sheppey, near the north coast. Pop. (1901), 1306. It is served by the Sheppey light railway from Sheerness, 2 M. west. The village has in modern times become a seaside resort. It has a fine church, dedicated to St Mary and St Sexburga, originally attached to a convent of the 7th century, founded by Sexburga, widow of Erconberht, king of Kent. The building as it stands is only a portion of the conventual church founded in the early part of the 12th century by William de Corbeuil, archbishop of Canterbury; it retains also traces of pre-Norman work. It contains some interesting early monuments. The abbey gatehouse remains, and other fragments may be traced. There are oyster beds in the neighbouring shallow sea.
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